Review: Ink by Amanda Sun

June 17, 2013 4 stars, Book Review, Young Adult 38 ★★★★

Pabkins’ One Liner: Oishii! Delicious -I just couldn’t get enough!

Ink by Amanda Sun

looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.

Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.

A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.

And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

Ink stars two teenagers both with tragic pasts but is told from the perspective of Katie.​ Katie, still grieving over the recent​ death of her mother is sent to live with her Aunt in Japan. So not only must she deal with her pain but also with the stress of living in a foreign country, barely speaking the language,​and ​with a sore lack of anything even remotely familiar.

This is box title
“I was being shipped away from everything I knew, the leftover baggage of fading lives.”

Then there is Tomohiro, a surly teen who is no stranger to a fight and seems to constantly have rumors swirling around him. He’s a punk that runs hot and cold and you really never know what might come out of his mouth next.​ But of course Katie would be drawn to him – who doesn’t love a bad boy with a mysterious past?

This is box title
​”What do you have to say now?” I shouted. Still nothing. And then slowly he raised his arm, his finger pointed. “I can see up your skirt.”​

I went into Ink expecting there to be a lot of drama and that is precisely what I got.  Normally, I would say at this point, (because I’m not usually a teen angst lover) that it was just too much or not my cup of tea, but not in this case! Ink is exactly what I wanted! It was like I was watching a Japanese TV drama, and having lived in Japan for five years when I was a little girl I felt Amanda Sun got the culture so spot on! But of course she lived in Japan herself when she was younger.  Also, if you like TV drama I love Japanese and Korean drama shows, I’d say give them a try!

Katie is a pushy, nosy in your face kind of girl. She definitely has an attitude and a lot of fire. I don’t know how much of her behavior can be attributed to grieving for her mom but there were times when I wondered if maybe she wasn’t being stereo-typed as the pushy American. With all that I still liked her gumption.

Have you ever known someone who got so hung up on someone that they became completely fixated? Well that’s Katie, she is so curious about Tomohiro in the beginning, and of course can’t help being attracted to him. But while trying to find out about the ink drawings moving she takes it a bit farther than I ever would have. There were a few times when she went into creepy stalker chick mode. However, I totally thought this was realistic because I’ve known a few creepy stalker chicks in my lifetime, don’t say you haven’t!

Eventually Tomohiro and Katie come together but it was a major push and pull battle for awhile there.  I liked that – it made it less insta-love and more challenge. Yes, they do seem to form a bond rather quickly in some ways – but they have plenty of common group to build that base off of.  Tomohiro has some extremely touching moments and I would have been suckered in myself.  Plus…he’s just so damn pretty!

This is box title
“They tell you you’ll forget how it used to be,” he said suddenly, and the sound of his voice startled me. “You’ll get used to it, that it’s better to move on. They don’t realize you can’t. You’re not the same person anymore.”

“Be angry, Katie Greene. Don’t forget how it was. Because there’ll always be a hole in your heart. You don’t have to fill it.”

The power that Tomohiro possesses is fascinating.  It’s deadly, and beautiful and has essentially done nothing but bring him pain and sadness – but still I can tell he loves this power just as much as he hates it.  What would you do if anything you drew could take on life? Oh the possibilities.  I’m agonizing that I have to wait so long for the next book.

​Ultimately, Ink is about so many things ​loss, adapting, finding strength within yourself, choosing to live your life instead of just staying alive and love – of course love. If you can handle some teenage romantic drama and would like to see a look at it with a twist of Japanese culture – definitely give Ink a try.​

If you want to get an idea of Amanda Sun’s writing style check out Shadow.  This is a free downloadable prequel short story! I haven’t read it yet but I definitely plan to ASAP! Also, if you plan to read this – know there is a wonderful glossary in the back that you can use while reading.  There are also marvelous illustrations through out the book to accompany the drawings Tomohiro does.  This cover is simply amazing – there is even a piece at the end of the book that features information about the artist – and of course the first chapter of book 2!


Find: Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads
Follow: Website | Twitter


This is box title

• An advanced reader copy was provided by the publisher! This review contains quotes from an uncorrected edition of the book and may not be the same in the published copy. All opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post also contains affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here.

Stalk me!

Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
Stalk me!

Latest posts by Tabitha (Pabkins) (see all)

38 Responses to “Review: Ink by Amanda Sun”

  1. DannyBookworm

    Oh I am so excited you loved it also so much!!! I read some really harsh reviews with made me a little sad, but I’m happy you also liked it!
    Yes the stalker mode was something very delicate, but you are right it turned out to be ok! I had some dialogue problems, but the mythology was so gorgous!

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I could totally see why some readers would have problems with it. But I really loved it. I think it gives such an accurate feeling on Japan and I can’t wait to see what happens next for them. Bah I need to visit Japan soon – I’m so jealous my husband gets to go once a month!!

      I’m glad you liked it too. Yes I read some harsh reviews afterwards. That’s why I try to avoid reading reviews of books I am excited to read because I hate hearing how much someone else does not like something I’m excited for.

  2. Jess

    I also really enjoyed this one. I wasn’t expecting to like it so much. I think Tomo and Katie had good chemistry.

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I’m glad another person that liked it! I thought so as well. Tomo may have run hot and cold a bunch but there were reasons for it. Sometimes people can be so stubborn!

  3. alhafizol

    I don’t know if I like this or not, but you’ve made an impressive job with the review. I’m interested to read this book now. Thanks for sharing. =)

    Read My Latest Review:
    Golden Boy

  4. annie

    Thanks for the link to Shadow. It sounds like you enjoyed Ink and that the cultural aspects were spot on. I do like Korean dramas, my favourite is probably Princess Hours! 🙂

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Oh then you should probably really enjoy this one! I like Korean dramas too haha, my grandfather in law is ADDICTED to them! It’s so cute seeing this 85 year old Italian man who just can’t get enough of the Korean dramas.

  5. Ashfa Anwer

    OMG! This one sons amazing love story and the cover is so pretty!! I’m getting this somehow.

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      It really was good – but you have to be prepared for the drama and creepy stalker girl moments she has. I’ve seen people either love it or hate it.

  6. Gayatri

    I have been seeing lots of ‘Ink ‘ posters in the blogging world! And having read rave reviews on other blogs as well as here I am quite excited to buy this book and read it! The cover design too is gorgeous!

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Oh have you seen the UK cover as well? I love the UK cover more than the US cover – they are both by the same artist and both lovely. There is even illustrations inside the book! I hope you love it!

      • Gayatri

        I just saw the UK cover and you are right it is more pretty than the US cover! And thanks for the prequel info I will get right onto downloading it!!

  7. Karen

    I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews for Ink. I really have to no preconceptions going into it so we’ll see.

    That cover is so pretty and I like the unique setting.

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Yes – it seems people either hate it or love it. I loved the drama and she was just so accurate with the setting and feel that I really enjoyed it. I hope you like it. If you like Japanese or Korean tv dramas chances are you’ll like it!

  8. Alba @ BookPics

    I’m piked… I’m kind of a fan of love -understatement of the century- and I’ve got a twisted addiction to getting to know all-things japanese so maybe this is a some sort of godsend book? hehehe
    To satisfy both my addictions at once?

    Thanks for the review and the passages and quotes you chose kind of teased me into craziness >_<


  9. Jaime Lester

    I have tried really hard to stay away from reviews of Ink until I have the chance to read it for myself. And I was succeeding but I decided to go ahead and read yours. Thank you!!! I will not read another review for Ink until I read it, and review it myself. I want to be as completely surprised as possible. I am so ridiculously excited about this story. I cannot wait. Thank you, again, for your FANTASTIC review!

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Oh thank you – you are so sweet! I hope you love it! I know its SO HARD not to read reviews of a book that you are waiting to get your hands on. I find that if I read the reviews it will dampen my enthusiasm for them if I read people being critical about it. So I just oogle the ratings and once in awhile I’ll read a review before hand if its someone’s opinion that I trust. Now I can’t wait to hear what you think!!!

  10. Luz

    The cover of this book is so beautiful. I’m really looking forward to reading it!! The fact that it’s set in Japan intrigues me, loved your review

  11. Denise Z

    I have been hearing murmurs about Ink and it is on my radar. Thank you for sharing a little more about it. I definitely hoped over and picked up Shadow for a taste of this author’s writing style.

  12. Luz

    I’m looking forward to reading this book. I really like the cover of this book and the fact that it’s set in Japan. Great review!!